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A guide to complaints

Yorkshire Housing is committed to providing great customer experiences with  everything we do.

If something hasn’t gone to plan, it’s really important that you let us know so that we can put it right.

This guide to complaints describes how to make a complaint and the service standards you can expect from Yorkshire Housing.

What is a complaint?

We see a complaint as any expression of dissatisfaction which is affecting a customer or group of customers, made about the standard of service, actions or lack of action by Yorkshire Housing, our own colleagues, or those acting on our behalf.

What I can and can’t complain about

You can complain to Yorkshire Housing if you are unhappy with a service we provide. This could be you personally or a group of customers.

There are some things that aren’t dealt with through the complaints process:

  • The first time you request a service. (eg if your boiler breaks for the first time, this would be a repair request – not a complaint).
  • Anti-social behaviour or issues with other residents. These are dealt with under our Anti-Social Behaviour Policy.
  • Where there is a legal process underway (e.g. a claim for damages that should be handled as a public liability insurance claim, or matters undergoing court proceedings).
  • Housing applications or banding decisions which are part of a Local Authority Choice Based Lettings system.
  • Decisions taken by other organisations (e.g. a Local Council or a utility company) which Yorkshire Housing has no control over.

How do I complain?

The easiest and quickest way is to get in touch with us directly and let us know the details of your complaint or compliment.

Email: customerservices@yorkshirehousing.co.uk
Website: www.yorkshirehousing.co.uk
Telephone: 0345 3664404
Write to us at: Dysons Chambers, 12-14 Briggate, Leeds, LS1 6ER. Via a local Councillor or Member of Parliament.

Social media: (Twitter and facebook): @yhousing

If you are using social media, please make it clear in your post that you want make a complaint. Also, to protect your privacy you can send any information you wish to remain private such as your name and address or contact number by direct message on facebook or Twitter.

When complaining, please tell us: your personal details, as much as you can about the complaint, what has gone wrong and what you are looking for as an outcome.


What happens if I make a complaint?

If you make a complaint we will try to put things right straight away.

Stage 1 – If we can’t resolve it for you it becomes a stage 1 complaint. We will send you an acknowledgement letter or an email after 2 working days and aim to resolve your complaint within 10 working days.

Stage 2 – If you’re unhappy with the result you can ask to move to stage 2 and have your complaint reviewed. We will aim to do this within 20 working days.

Housing Ombudsman – If you still don’t feel we’ve put things right, you can take your complaint to the Housing Ombudsman. This is a service set up to look at complaints about Housing Associations. There is a waiting period. The Housing Ombudsman can look at your complaint 8 weeks after you receive the outcome of your stage 2 complaint. You can also contact the Housing Ombudsman at any time for advice.

You can contact the Housing Ombudsman directly via the following methods:

We may ask for more time

Sometimes we need more time to investigate a complaint, usually up to ten working days. If this happens we will discuss it with you and let you know when you can expect it be resolved. This is known as “stop the clock”.

Petitions

If you are part of a petition or group complaint with other customers we will investigate the complaint in the same way but the response will be sent to all members of the group who are named unless someone is nominated as a lead person.

Compensation

If you feel that you are out of pocket because of the issues you faced leading up to your complaint you can request compensation. It maybe for loss of time, trouble, distress and inconvenience and/or damage to your belongings. Please consider what you think is a fair amount of compensation for losses and this will be looked at as part of resolving your complaint. Compensation is not an automatic outcome from any complaint.

Learning from complaints

Every time we resolve a complaint we review it and look at what lessons we can learn. This helps us to improve our services and prevent similar problems happening. We will share the lessons learned with you in your outcome letter.

The lessons learnt from complaints are reviewed by our Customer Complaints Forum to make sure that actions are taken to improve our services.

Housing Ombudsman Complaint Handling Code and Self-Assessment

We also follow the requirements in the Housing Ombudsman Complaint Handling Code. The Code enables landlords to deal with complaints quickly and to use what they learn from complaints to improve services. It is a requirement of the code that we complete a self-assessment. To view our self-assessment click here.

More Information on the Complaint Handling Code can be found here.


Unreasonable, intensive and vexatious complainants

Yorkshire Housing does not tolerate any form of abusive or threatening behaviour from complainants. There may also be circumstances in which we may treat a complaint as vexatious or a complainant as unreasonably persistent. We aim to establish a working environment for our colleagues where their exposure to unnecessary stress due to the unacceptable behaviour of others is managed.

We define unreasonable, intensive and vexatious complaints as those that, because of the frequency or nature of a complainant’s contact with our colleagues, hinder our consideration of their (or other people’s) complaints. The description ‘unreasonably persistent’ and ‘vexatious’ may apply separately or jointly to a particular complaint.

We will treat as abusive, any behaviour that seeks to harass, verbally abuse or otherwise intimidate our colleagues. This can include the use of foul or inappropriate language or the use of offensive and racist language.

Abusive behaviour may be demonstrated through:

  • Using threatening, offensive or foul language on the telephone or face to face.
  • Sending multiple threatening or offensive emails.
  • Leaving multiple threatening or offensive voicemails.
  • The use of offensive or threatening posts on social networks.

Any customer who is deemed to fall into any of these categories will be referred to the Customer Services Delivery Manager for appropriate and proportionate action to be taken.

Reasonable adjustments

Yorkshire Housing are committed to ensuring no one is disadvantaged when accessing our services due to a disability. In every scenario our priorities are to:

  • Commit to improving accessibility for everyone
  • Provide the basic principles of our commitment to give disabled people reasonable adjustments
  • Clearly define what we take into account when dealing with requests for reasonable adjustments

Some of the arrangements we make can be offered to people who do not have a disability, for example providing larger fonts on letters. Please contact us to discuss your requirements.